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Online security begins with a dose of common sense. While exercising basic caution won’t protect you from every type of cyberattack, you can head off many forms of trouble online by remembering some advice from your school-aged years.

Don’t Open Anything From Strangers

It may surprise you to know how easy it is to spoof, or forge, an email address—and how commonly it’s done. Always verify that an email is legitimate before opening any attachments, following links or responding to requests for information.

Anything That Sounds Too Good to Be True, Probably Is

If you’re like most people, you already know it’s best to take anything you see or read on the Internet with a grain of salt. Any grand promises you may see online are very likely spam, a hoax, or some sort of phishing scheme. This includes offers of free downloadable software. Ironically, spyware and malware are often disguised as a program or app intended to remove malware.

Lock the Door

In addition to having firewalls and other network security procedures in place, it’s best to get into the habit of locking up your IT valuables just as you do your own home. Use strong passwords, and don’t reuse the same password in multiple places. Log out or lock your computer when you step away, every time.

Don’t Broadcast That You’re Away From Home

Email autoresponders are a handy way of letting colleagues and clients know that you won’t be able to respond while you’re away on vacation, leave, or traveling for business. However, it’s important to word your “away” message carefully.

Avoid letting potential attackers know that your home is empty, and don’t share specific details of any travel itineraries. It’s usually best to avoid automatically sending information about your travel plans. Instead, stick with phrases such as, “I will not have access to email between [date range].” Also, it’s often a good idea to restrict such automatic replies to people in your contact list and within your organization. Replying to a spam message will serve to confirm that your email account is active—inviting further spam and phishing attempts.

Common Sense and Online Security

While common sense can help you avoid a majority of security issues on the Internet, there’s no substitute for a comprehensive network security strategy. Ready to discuss how Resource One can keep your organization’s sensitive data secure? Give us a call at 503-640-5100 or contact us online. We welcome the opportunity to help you secure your IT infrastructure.